Traditionally, extracting and amplifying DNA from a biological sample has required a series of complex and cumbersome steps that can only be performed in a laboratory.
Now, Univ. of Queensland researchers — led by Jimmy Botella, professor of plant biotechnology, and Michael Mason, a postdoctoral research fellow — have developed a dipstick that can capture and purify nucleic acids from a wide range of plant, animal, and microbe samples without specialized equipment.
“We aim to make complete diagnostic systems that are simple, cheap, and robust, so that they can be used by anyone, including people without scientific training, and be used in places with limited resources (e.g., remote field sites, developing countries, and high schools),” says Mason.
Although many commercially available kits can isolate nucleic acids, they often require laboratory equipment (such as pipettes and centrifuges) that is not practical for use in the field. To solve this problem, the researchers investigated a variety of materials that they thought might be suitable for nucleic...
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